, ARUSHA, Tanzania, Nov 8 – The East African Community and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations are this week conducting a five-day regional training on agricultural statistics in Arusha, Tanzania. The training runs from 8-12 November.
The Regional CountrySTAT Training workshop that opened on Monday is designed to help countries better understand international standards and to meet the comparability requirements of consistent, updated and high quality data. Reliable food and agricultural statistics are crucial for designing policies to ensure food security.
Participants from nine countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including representatives from four of the five EAC Partner States, will discuss ways of improving the quality of data of the CountrySTAT system, become familiar with new tools developed by the CountrySTAT team at FAO headquarters, and understand processes and share best practices.
CountrySTAT is a web-based information technology system for food and agriculture statistics at the national and sub national levels.
Opening the training workshop, Dr Julius Tangus Rotich, the EAC Deputy Secretary General (Finance & Administration) said the increasing integration of economies has intensified the demand for a wide range of up-to-date and harmonized statistical data to underpin the task of macroeconomic management.
He further observed that the effectiveness and efficiency of the EAC Common Market and Monetary Union “will hinge on availability of reliable, accurate and timely data.”
The EAC Deputy Secretary General added that the workshop would be used as an opportunity to discuss the creation of RegionSTAT EAC, which will be a joint EAC-FAO project on agricultural statistics development.
The FAO Representative in Tanzania Dr Louise Setshwaelo said information was vital to modernize and make agriculture efficient and asserted that by FAO collaborating with the EAC “we can place special emphasis on strengthening national capacities”.
Over 40 delegates from Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia, as well as resource persons from FAO, IFPRI, Makerere University and the World Bank are in attendance, or are expected.
CountrySTAT is a web-based information technology system for food and agriculture statistics at the national and sub national levels. It provides decision-makers access to statistics across thematic areas such as production, prices, trade and consumption. This supports analysis, informed policy-making and monitoring with the goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.